Architectural Detail - 3-5 Shillington Road

The constructional detail is currently limited due to the only visible timbers being in the eastern bay of this house at the time of our inspection. The central and western bays had been entirely clad in ply and plasterboard during a 1960’s renovation leaving no exposed timbers.

The eastern bay has also been subject to many alterations in the past but it appears to have been constructed one and a half storey in height with plain unjowelled posts with collar and tie beam to the eastern end truss. The timber studs are of narrow size and have been heavily modified in the past including insertion of a diagonal brace to support one side of a staircase that had previously been situated in the eastern bay although unlikely to be the original staircase/access to the attic floor. There is a large fireplace with salt box recess which has a triangulated top design, similar to others seen in the village, and a bread oven to the side.

This design of salt box has been seen in other houses in Pirton and Shillington.

This design of salt box has been seen in other houses in Pirton and Shillington.

The fireplace is constructed in a variety of materials including various sizes of brick, clunch and tile set in a herringbone pattern. The bressumer beam is a reused piece of timber which has a slot and notch in the underside. The main ceiling beam is chamfered with a decorative lambs tongue stop end to the fireplace end whilst at the opposite end the chamfer continues along with the beam through the end wall where it has been cut.

Centre post which the main ceiling beam passes right through.

Centre post which the main ceiling beam passes right through.

A further timber supports this beam adjoining the vertical stud on the inside face of the wall. This suggests that this is a reused timber cut to size and that the floor maybe inserted as the beam passes through the wall. This could indicate a replaced floor or more likely that the building may have been a barn originally although this cannot be confirmed without seeing the remainder of the ground floor beams which are currently concealed in the central and western bays.

Junction of main ceiling beam with centre post showing additional supporting timbers and continuous chamfered edge.

Junction of main ceiling beam with centre post showing additional supporting timbers and continuous chamfered edge.

On the first floor it is evident that the roof has been altered due to the original principle rafter being visible in the internal wall with the eaves level raised.

Original roof profile shown by truss timbers and sloping ceiling of raised wall plate.

Original roof profile shown by truss timbers and sloping ceiling of raised wall plate.

The front and rear windows are set low in the wall just below the wall plate and the original roof profile has been retained in the low steeply sloping ceilings. The tie beam has been cut at a later date to allow access through from the later extension.

Within the roof space, the light framed timber studwork with rendered laths is visible raising the eaves level. This lighter form of construction is more of the 19th century than earlier and may have been carried out when the extensions were built at both ends.

The raised wall showing the more lightweight studwork and laths, typical of the 19th century. The original rounded rafters of the thatched roof can be compared to the modern squared machined rafters of the 19th century roof.

The raised wall showing the more lightweight studwork and laths, typical of the 19th century. The original rounded rafters of the thatched roof can be compared to the modern squared machined rafters of the 19th century roof.

Also within the roof space the original eastern gable wall is partially visible with a rendered pebbledash exterior over horizontal laths. The internal face has wattle and daub which is limewashed.

Eastern gable wall with laths and pebbledash render to the old exterior wall.

Eastern gable wall with laths and pebbledash render to the old exterior wall.

In the western bay, only the western gable end wall is partially retained, the roof here having been replaced entirely in Victorian times. The wattle and daub interior face is still present with the central section having been removed. This would appear to have been done to accommodate a gable chimney stack to heat this bay. The two vertical timbers to either side of the gap are of a later date than the rest of the gable timberwork and suggest the chimney was inserted after the building was constructed. This is further evidence of the reuse of a building which in this case was split into three cottages.

Western gable wall showing one of the interior faces and space for the chimney stack.

Western gable wall showing one of the interior faces and space for the chimney stack.

The outside face of the gable was clad in timber, a small section of which is still in situ. There is also evidence of a second purlin to support the original roof with the profile cut out of one of the pieces of cladding.

Western gable wall showing one of the exterior faces with a small piece of timber cladding still in situ but also showing the cut out section for the original purlin.

Western gable wall showing one of the exterior faces with a small piece of timber cladding still in situ but also showing the cut out section for the original purlin.

There are no original timbers to the central bay as the chimney stack separates the two bays however a small section of wattle and daub partitioning is present to one side of the chimney. Close inspection was not possible but could be a full height partition of a barn or the partition to an open hall in the central bay.

Small remaining section of wattle and daub partitioning to the central truss next to the chimney.

Small remaining section of wattle and daub partitioning to the central truss next to the chimney.

Part of the original roof structure is still in situ to the eastern bay showing that the original roof had small sized circular profile rafters, typical of thatch, with lower eaves but a steeper pitch so that the ridge would have been higher than it is currently. The top section of the roof has been cut off in order to accommodate the shallower 19th Century sawn roof timbers.

Skeleton of the original roof timbers showing that they were cut off and of a steeper profile than the replacement roof.

Skeleton of the original roof timbers showing that they were cut off and of a steeper profile than the replacement roof.

There is a void between the surface of the rafters and the new timbers from where the wall plate was raised so the hazel spars onto which the thatch would have been attached are partially visible.

Outside the uneven roof line shows a distinction between the roof where the original timbers have been retained and the entirely replaced roof. The remaining chimney stack has been constructed as two separate but adjoining units. The position of the original wall plate can be seen by the low height of the first floor window to the eastern bay, whilst the long narrow horizontal profile windows of the central and western bays were placed on top of the wall plate during the 1960’s renovation.

The position of the original wall plate is shown by the low height of the window in the eastern bay which sits just below it, and the long narrow window of the western bay which sits on top of it.

The position of the original wall plate is shown by the low height of the window in the eastern bay which sits just below it, and the long narrow window of the western bay which sits on top of it.

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